Robredo beats Almagro in 4th round of French Open
Tommy Robredo of Spain became the first man in 86 years to rally from two sets down in three consecutive Grand Slam victories.
Ranked 470th a year ago, Robredo reached the quarterfinals of the French Open for the first time since 2009 by stunning 11th-seeded Nicolas Almagro 6-7 (5), 3-6, 6-4, 6-4, 6-4 in an all-Spanish match on Sunday.
Frenchman Henri Cochet is the only other man who achieved the feat, winning three matches in a row at Wimbledon in 1927.
''You know, nobody dreams of doing such things,'' Robredo said. ''What one dreams of is to reach quarterfinals, but not such a nightmare that is a five-setter. What I accomplished was very difficult, very complicated.''
A former top-10 player, Robredo missed the French Open the past two years because of a nagging left leg injury that required surgery.
''I've already erased that from my mind,'' Robredo said. ''Obviously it was an experience that I had to go through, and in life all the experiences are good. I think that you learn a lot more from a bad experience than from a good one, no? So from that one I learned a lot, and right now I'm enjoying it a lot more every time I win a match.
''Maybe some years ago I wouldn't have fought for each point, whereas today I do this on each point. When I was injured, I was not even thinking that I could be back, that I could play on the Lenglen court or Chatrier court.''
Robredo will play another Spaniard in fourth-seeded David Ferrer, who eliminated No. 23 Kevin Anderson of South Africa 6-3, 6-1, 6-1.
Overwhelmed by his emotions, Robredo fell to his knees and broke into tears as the crowd chanted: ''Tommy, Tommy.'' His father, Angel, was a big fan of The Who and named his son after the group's musical ''Tommy.''
''I really like it when I see that the crowd is getting mad,'' Robredo said. ''They're shouting, they're motivating us, they're supporting us.''
Almagro then blew leads of 4-1 in the third set, 4-2 in the fourth and 2-0 in the fifth. In the final set, he made an unforced error in the ninth game to drop serve. Robredo clinched victory when his opponent hit a backhand volley into the net.
''He was very consistent,'' Almagro said, ''I had my ups and downs. These ups and downs cost me the match. I think Tommy produced a remarkable, admirable game. I have every respect for what he did.''
Robredo was also a quarterfinalist at Roland Garros in 2003, `05, `07 and `09. Last year, he finished outside the top 100 for the first time in 12 years. He won a clay-court tournament in Morocco in April.